Zinc in its various forms and variations comes with a wealth of skin benefits – here’s why you should be using it in your health and beauty products…

It can be really difficult to keep up with all the latest and greatest skincare and beauty ingredients. Knowing which ones will suit your needs is almost impossible. Here’s what you need to know about zinc.

Oral supplements for your skin

Oral zinc supplements taken in small doses are the most effective form of zinc for treating acne and acne-prone skin. When taken regularly, doses no larger than 30mg per day result in significant skin improvements.

Your zinc supplement should be bioavailable and food grade and preferred types of zinc for supplements are zinc orotate, zinc methionine, and zinc acetate.

If you prefer to get your zinc from food sources, your best bets are oysters (they have a very high zinc content), beef, crab, crayfish, pork, chicken (there’s more zinc in dark meat than white meat), cashews, chickpeas, oatmeal, swiss cheese, milk and yoghurt.

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Maksym Yemelyanov – @123rf.com

Zinc for sensitivity and inflammation

Zinc is a super soothing antioxidant, which is why it has been used as a nappy rash treatment for ages. It’s also often used as a remedy for eczema-prone skin and other sensitivity related conditions.

An added bonus? Zinc seems to slow down the body’s production of histamine, which means there will be a reduction in redness, swelling and itching.

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Acne treatment

Due to the soothing and antioxidant properties mentioned above, zinc is often included in topical acne and oily skin treatments. Those aren’t the only reasons it’s included though – it’s believed to be able to slow bacterial growth as well.

Sunscreen

Sunscreens containing zinc oxide have multiple benefits. Zinc sunscreen falls under a classification called mineral sunscreens, and it’s the type of SPF that’s most suitable for sensitive skins.

It forms a barrier on the skin and is effective as soon as it’s applied (as opposed to chemical sunscreens, which only start working once they’re absorbed approximately 20-30 minutes later).

Now read: New and noteworthy skincare ingredients to try in 2019